8 fun home trends for a hot summer

  • 8 fun home trends for a hot summer

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Woman with paint samples in empty houseTrends come and go, and some of them are much more interesting than others. If you're looking for a new direction for your home this summer, these fun trends can help spice up your abode, or at least give you some great ideas for becoming a trend-setter all on your own.

  • Spring trend: pops of color

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Brightly colored paint in cansPicture a serene white kitchen with one enormous bouquet of yellow flowers on the island. Or a sleek, modernist black kitchen, save for the brilliant red gloss of a surprising backsplash. Pops of color in every part of the home have been gaining traction in recent years, but today that use of color is exploding into a palette that anyone can personalize. From throw pillows to light fixtures, the options are endless.

  • Spring trend: water filters

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    A glass being filled by water from a tap with a filterOkay, let's be honest -- we take this for granted. But in light of the horrible water situation for residents of Flint, Michigan, suddenly clean and clear water feels like quite the luxury. Water filtration of all kinds, from a whole-house system to a small half-gallon pitcher in the fridge (in a nice pop of color, of course!) are all the rage. And while you're at it, get your water tested. Just in case.

  • Spring trend: multi-function tools

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Luxury kitchen appliancesMulti-function tools have always been in vogue, but now that one gadget that 'does it all' is getting even more traction. A roaster that is also a crockpot and also a searing grill? How about a refrigerator with so many bells and whistles that it actually intimidates you? Or turn your microwave into a one-stop-shop with elements that poach eggs, fry bacon, cook rice, and boil pasta. Think of these new gadgets as Leatherman tools for the kitchen.

  • Spring trend: formal dining room

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Modern dining roomWith more homeowners choosing to work from home, the formal dining room is often relegated to an office. But now parents are finding new places for their paperwork, and opening up all that gorgeous space in the dining room for family meals. Look for more households to declare 'family meal night' and ask the kids to leave their smartphones in their rooms for a bit. And that leads us to…

  • Spring trend: techless room

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Cozy living roomAs elusive as Sasquatch and as mysterious as the Loch Ness Monster, a room that has absolutely no tech connection is a thing of legend. But such serene areas are popping up in homes all over the country, where the kids can play and the adults can relax without a single blip or beep from televisions, smartphones, computers, or even old-fashioned radios. Keep your eyes peeled -- this rare beast might be lurking in your neighbor's home right now.

  • Spring trend: bidets

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Modern bidetBut there is still some serious tech going on, even in those homes with unconnected rooms. Even toilets (yes, toilets!) are now advanced enough that some models actually talk to you. But there is one aspect that is well overdue, and that's the bidet. Bidets are now included in five percent of master baths, but expect that number to rise dramatically as more people use them and then wonder how they ever lived without one.

  • Spring trend: mixed materials

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Modern kitchen with white cabinetsThe perfectly polished room is a thing of the past. Today's homes are filled with the glorious variety of textures, paints and materials that make every room more comfortable. For instance, a kitchen might be home to rustic wood beams, stainless steel appliances, subway tile backsplashes and comfortable hardwood floors, complete with a cushioning rug. Or maybe get really crazy with two different types of cabinets occupying the same space. It can take your kitchen from 'eh, just a normal kind of place' to 'holy smokes, that's awesome!'

  • Spring trend: personalized everything

    Shannon Lee | Improvement Center Columnist | April 21, 2016

    Couple painting a wallYour home is your castle. Your sanctuary. That means that it should reflect you, and not just the latest and greatest fads. That's why the biggest trend this summer is all about you -- what makes your home your own, and what makes it a delight to live there.

    This can extend to any area of the house. Like to cook? Go for a steam oven, a warming drawer, or even a kimchi refrigerator (yes, they make those). Love being warm? Install radiant heating in the entryway, not just the bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms, do you hate yours? Change it up with a spa tub, heated towel racks, the aforementioned bidet, and wallpaper that makes a bathroom feel more like a living space.

    Because your house really is all about you. That's the only trend that matters!